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Education platforms like Coursera and edX have made it possible for anyone to avail of courses from universities around the world with just a computer and an internet connection. Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC as they are popularly called, are being considered as key solutions for students to bridge the gap between their education and job requirements. In other words, these typically short courses hold the potential to make sure that the students are ‘work ready’ after they graduate and enter the job market.

MOOCs are not the standard degree courses offered by the universities. Instead, they are offered as ‘active’ course sessions promoting participant interaction. Today, there are thousands of MOOCs that are offered by educational institutions like universities and colleges either free of charge or at an affordable price. It can be fairly confusing to select from such a vast pool. Therefore, we have listed 30 of the most popular MOOCs of all time. These are segregated as per the categories they fall under including technology, business, sciences, humanities, engineering, personal development & improvement, and language learning skills.

30 Most Popular MOOCs Provided Free of Cost


Technology has been at the helm of every major innovation in human history spanning the last 200 years. Therefore, it is but natural for MOOC providers like edX to maximize their offerings in this field. Some of the most popular MOOCs in the field of technology include the following:

1. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this is an introductory course on how computer science can be applied along with Python 3.5 for resolving analytical problems. This 9-week online course is highly sought after by computer science students making it one of our most popular MOOCs of all time.

2. Computing in Python I: Fundamentals and Procedural Programming

The fundamental Computing in Python is created by the Georgia Institute of Technology. This course is aimed at enabling the student to write basic Python programs involving mathematical operators, variables, and logical operators.

3. CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science

The CS50x course is suitable for students seeking an introduction to programming. The course is carefully designed by Harvard University to build a strong understanding of programming and computer science as a whole.

4. The Analytics Edge

Organizational data is growing at a pace faster than any of us could have imagined. This Massachusetts Institute of Technology course is offered free of charge to help students learn the proper use of analytics and data at a more holistic level.

5. Python for Data Science

Python and data science are a commendable combination. The University of California, San Diego has developed this free 10-week course to enable students to solve complex data science problems using tools like Python, Pandas, Jupyter notebooks, Numpy, Matplotlib, Git, etc.

6. Computer Science 101

As the name suggests, this Stanford University created course aims at teaching the inherent ideas behind computer science for beginners. This 6-week long course teaches how a computer works, the associated jargon, basics of programming, and coding.

7. Artificial Intelligence

Designed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, this free 12 weeklong AI course teaches how to tackle complex real-world issues pertaining to different engineering practices with a combination of Artificial intelligence and rigorous mathematical tools.

8. Cyber Security Basics: A Hands-on Approach

This basic course on cybersecurity is one of the most popular MOOCs of all time as it teaches the learner how they can protect themselves against potential cyber-attacks. This practical course is developed by Universidad Carlos III De Madrid and extensively covers the cybersecurity landscape.


9. Six Sigma: Define and Measure

Six Sigma has been a buzz word for a few decades now and it helps to understand the details behind this concept. This course is suitably designed to comprehend the concept of Six Sigma as well as DMAIC process improvement flow steps. The course is just 8 weeks long and is one of the most popular MOOCs. The course even includes interactive exercises to learn how the statistics function in real-world applications.

10. Digital Marketing: Content & Community Manager

Created by Galileo University and delivered in Spanish, this digital marketing course is perfect for learning how to create effective content marketing strategies including the effective use of social media platforms. Learning these strategies can be crucial for those entering the workforce straight out of graduation as it will enable them with creative resources for developing marketing plans.

11. Applied Scrum for Agile Project Management

This free 4-week long course designed by the University of Maryland, College Park educates students on the various aspects of the project management processes behind Scrum. It also provides a crucial insight into the history and the increasing importance of Agile with respect to the industry, engineering, as well as the stakeholders.

12. Project Management Life Cycle

This course is developed by the Rochester Institute of Technology to teach the correct application of project management tools, processes, as well as techniques that encompass an effective project management life cycle. At a generous 10 weeks, this course is suitable for anyone interested in pursuing a career in Project Management.

13. International Project Management

This course is also created by the Rochester Institute of Technology but focusses specifically on the unique challenges involved in global project management. Apart from knowledge of the subject, the course also teaches the behavior and skills that are essential for managing projects that transcend domestic boundaries and may even require to interact with people across different cultures.


14. Quantum Mechanics for Everyone

This course is developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spans over 18 weeks. Students can educate themselves on the wavelength functions and probability interpretation including the time-evolution of wave packets, etc. This is an ‘expert’ course and is highly popular with students keen on honing their skills in the subject of Quantum Mechanics.

15. Introduction to Biology – The Secret of Life

This introductory 16-week long course is designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to teach the ‘secret of life’ using the basics of genetics, biotechnology, molecular biology, genomics, recombinant DNA, as well as rational medicine. This beginner-level course is suitable for anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of the building blocks of life itself.

16. The Science of Happiness

Developed by the famous University of California, Berkeley, the Science of Happiness is a one-of-a-kind course teaching positive psychology. This alone makes it one of the most popular MOOCs of all time. The course is designed to offer practical strategies for students to nurture their happiness and is supported by numerous research-backed activities.

17. Circular Economy

Developed by the Delft University of Technology, this beginner-level course explores the concept of the Circular Economy including the impact of remanufacturing, benefits of durable products, reduction of waste, etc. This course is highly recommended for Circular Economy enthusiasts o anyone who is keen on finding out how their business can add value by recycling as well as reusing products and reducing wastage.

18. Mathematical Economics

As the name suggests, this Doon University course focuses on the study of Economics with the help of Mathematics. This course is 15 weeks long during which the student is educated on the art of logical, critical, as well as scientific thinking. The aim is to make sure that by the end of the course you have a better understanding of the decision-making process and can cover any deficiencies.

19. Creating Business Value with User Experience

Technology is improving by leaps and bounds but businesses are still struggling to create valuable user experiences in the form of UX. This OpenSAP course is a short 3-week online program developed to help students learn how to ‘humanize’ the software experience by modifying the design and adding relevant functionalities to the customer-facing software applications.


20. AP Microeconomics

The AP Microeconomics course is developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offering a beginner-level overview of the concept of Microeconomics. This course covers important topics like producer theory, consumer theory, market structures, market failures, and economic fairness. The course is an excellent platform for anyone keen on pursuing an expert level course on microeconomics in the future.

21. Fundamentals of Macroeconomics

This is a 6 weeklong beginner-level course designed to gain a sound understanding of Macroeconomics. It covers various macroeconomics concepts like GDP, investments, savings, Central banks, etc.


22. Justice

Justice is one of the most popular MOOCs today. The course is taught by experienced Harvard professor Michael Sandel and covers a detailed analysis of contemporary as well as classical theories of justice. At 12 weeks in length, the course is aimed at teaching political philosophy fundamentals and at the same time offering a comprehensive understanding of the criminal and social justice systems.

23. Art and Design in the Digital Age

This course offers a unique view of the theory of art in the current digital age. Students are encouraged to enter into active discussions and debates to share their perspectives.

24. Shakespeare Matters

Developed by the University of Adelaide, the beginner-level course helps students understand the relevance of Shakespeare’s works even in the current times. The 5-week long free course is based around ideas and methodologies to offer a deeper look into the plays of this great playwright. This is one of the most popular MOOCs as it is highly preferred by literature enthusiasts.


25. Machine Learning

It is impossible to segregate machine learning concepts from data analysis. This Columbia University designed course includes techniques for regression as well as classifications that are supervised. It also incorporates unsupervised data analysis and modeling techniques.

26. Circuits and Electronics 1: Basic Circuit Analysis

This is another highly popular MOOCs developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to allow students to learn how they can build amplifiers and speed up the digital circuits in microchip designs with a number of applications including smartphones, computers, smart self-driving cars, etc.

Personal Development and Improvement

27. The Science of Everyday Thinking

Developed by the University of Queensland, this course is designed specifically for enabling the students to argue better, think better, and make better selections. The course is 12 weeks long and discusses a wide array of topics ranging from miracles to medicines. The underlying aim of the course is to develop your scientific evaluation methodologies so that you can think logically and arrive at the right conclusion.

28. Social Innovations

Social Innovations MOOC is created by Iversity and covers new social norms and practices that are constantly influencing our lives today. It also gives an insight into the concept of Social Innovations using discussions as well as debates.

Language Learning

29. Tsinghua Chinese: Start Talking with 1.3 Billion People

The Tsinghua University designed course focuses on enabling the learner to develop basic language skills for interacting on a daily basis in countries that are largely Mandarin speaking.

30. Basic Spanish 2: One Step Further

This Spanish course is one of the most popular MOOCs with regard to building Spanish language skills. The course is carefully designed to ensure that the students derive the maximum benefit from this language skill.

Technology has made it possible for people all over the world to have access to free and affordable education as they deserve. The above-mentioned 30 most popular MOOCs of all times provide an excellent platform for education without borders or discrimination.